November 2018  "Love Your RV" Newsletter
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Hello, and welcome to the November Newsletter. Snowbird season is in full swing for some while others have the RV safely tucked away for winter.

Thanks, everyone for subscribing to and reading my monthly newsletters. If you're new or missed any editions, you can always catch up by visiting the Archive Page.

What's New With Us - Trip Reports

We've had a remarkable start to this year's snowbird season. As usual, we headed down the Oregon coast and into northern California along the 101 highway. Generally this time of year its cool and rainy and we are happy with a few sunny breaks here and there. This November we experienced two rain-free weeks with temps in the high 50s to low 60s, low wind and mostly sunny skies!
Anne and I took advantage of it by slowing our pace of travel and visiting a pair of Oregon's outstanding state parks. First, a return visit to Nehalem Bay SP so we could spend time at nearby Cannon Beach.
Later we booked a few days at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings Oregon. It was our first visit to Harris Beach and loved it. The beach just below the campground is a combo of sand and rock formations making for interesting wave action, beachcombing, and gorgeous sunsets.
In between the state parks, we stayed at two casinos: the Three Rivers in Florence and the Mill Creek in Coos Bay. Anne had picked up a cold and we just needed a cheap place to overnight so she could recuperate.

We lucked out at the Three Rivers Casino, where they make you earn 50 slot points to stay each night beyond the first free night. We ended up leaving with $400 extra bucks in our pocket (Cha-ching!) plus 4 nights of free overnight parking. :)

The Mill Creek Casino has a gravel dry camping area. $20 bucks per night but served the purpose. For the money, you also get access to the RV park facilities and a free dump and fresh water fill.
We rolled into California around mid-month. The good weather was still holding on the coast and there was thick wildfire smoke further inland, so we waited things out at an old favorite, the Elk Country RV Resort. Located between Eureka and Crescent City, it's ideal for exploring the Redwoods NP area. A bonus is a herd of majestic Roosevelt Elk frequent the campground.
We stayed 5 nights until eventually, the fall rains returned putting out the California fires. By the time we made it over the coast range and into the great central valley the smoke was gone and the air was actually clearer than normal.

Quick Side Trip Without the RV

We were finishing up the month visiting some friends south of San Jose and decided to treat ourselves to a spur of the moment getaway. Leaving the RV in our pals driveway we drove up to Yosemite National Park spending two nights at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. We haven't been to Yosemite since way back in 2010, our old campervan days.
Old school "Love Your RV!" Yosemite NP (circa 2010)
It was unique to see it in the late fall and being off season plus just after Thanksgiving, the park was relatively empty. Well, empty by Yosemite standards, haha. Such an iconic place consistantly draws visitors from all over the world.

We spent days hiking, exploring and photographing. Then enjoyed evening meals and beverages at the warm and cozy Mountain Room Lounge.
We had to hightail it out of there early yesterday as a big storm was moving in bringing flash flood and landslide warnings plus wintery weather. Stay tuned for some beautiful video footage I snagged during the visit.

How's the New Truck?

I know many are wondering how Big Blue II is performing. Well after towing the undulating 101 highway, crossing the coastal mountains and many miles on the freeways of California I give it two big thumbs up. It's a pleasure to pull with!

The odometer just hit 3000 miles. So far we've had zero problems. It has immense power, easily dragging our Cougar fifth wheel up any grade at whatever speed I desire. I absolutely love the tow haul mode and the turbo exhaust brake provides full control on the downhills.
Many folks wondered, being a single rear wheel truck if New Blue would be less stable than our old dually. So far I can say I haven't noticed a difference, it feels solid and handles just as well. In fact, with the tow/haul mode, 6-speed tranny, and exhaust brake it feels a little more stable than Old Blue especially in hilly/curvy terrain like on the coastal highway.

Fuel mileage is running around 11.5 MPG when towing and 19 MPG unloaded. I'm planning a full review post and video in the coming weeks.

Recent Posts on "Love Your RV!"

Snowbird Trip Begins with a Bang at Cannon Beach

Harris Beach State Park in Brookings Oregon

Beach, Elk and the Redwoods

Installing a Haloview Wireless RV Backup Camera

Haloview Wireless RV Backup Camera Review

Organizing My New Ram 3500 Truck Bed


Recent Videos

Haloview Wireless RV Backup Camera Installation

The 2018-19 Snowbird Trip Begins!

Nehalem Bay State Park on the Oregon Coast

Spectacular Autumn Day on Cannon Beach, Oregon

Golden Hour on Cannon Beach, Oregon

How I've Organized My New Ram 3500 Truck Bed

Harris Beach State Park - Brookings, Oregon

Haloview Wireless RV Backup Camera Review

Rest Stop at False Klamath Cove (North California Coast)

Elk, Giant Redwoods, Elk and more Elk
Haloview Wireless RV Backup Camera System
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Image of the Month

Sunset on Harris Beach, Brookings Oregon

Ray's Pick - Helpful RVing Website/App

This website app shows public land use maps.  Also here is a link where you can download the maps in high-resolution PDF format for offline viewing. Brown is BLM and Green is Forest Service. You can see why the west is a favorite of people that like to boondock.

The USGS Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is the nation's inventory of protected areas, including public open space and voluntarily provided, private, protected areas
(Note: I'm not affiliated with this website in any way - Ray)

RVing Tip of the Month

Using TPMS to Keep Tabs on Brake and Bearing Temps

With my recent installation of new brakes and bearings on our Cougar fifth wheel trailer I've been hyper-vigilant when it comes to monitoring my wheel hub temperatures.

When stopped I routinely check the brake drum hub temperature with my IR Temperature Gun and give it the old feel test. They shouldn't be too hot to touch. I find for the most part they run 5-10F degrees above ambient outside temperature unless I've just come down a hill and needed to apply the brakes. Also, the sunny side wheels will run a little warmer.

The addition of a Tire Pressure Monitor System has provided another real-time tool to the testing arsenal. My EEZRV TPMS has a temperature reading. Since I have them on metal valve stems mounted in the aluminum trailer wheels I find the heat from the brake hub will travel and show up in the TPMS temp reading.
I have the temperature alert setting low enough that if a brake was dragging or a wheel bearing failed it should warn me in time to pull over before catastrophic overheating takes place.

One time I had to do some rather heavy braking when a light changed on me while coming down a steep hill. Sure enough a few minutes later the high temp alert sounded off telling me the brake drums had heated up.
RVing Funny of the Month

Two goobers pose with a big tree

Thanks for tuning in to my blog and YouTube channel for your RVing fix and info, much appreciated.

Cheers Ray -
Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue - John Muir
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